Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why don't you wise up??

Before we begin this morning, I want to ask your prayers for little Royce this morning. I received an update from his grandmother this week. Royce is going into surgery tomorrow morning (Wed. 4/24) to have two things done: they will close up the hole in his stomach left by the feeding tube; and they will finally do the circumcision that was delayed by his conditions as a newborn. I’m praying that the surgeons will be able to do it all quickly and that Royce will experience no pain in the recovery. Please pray for peace for the whole family during the procedures. Thanks for joining me in bringing him before the throne of God.

Today’s verse popped out at me, because I’ve been puzzling over the idea it expresses for the past few weeks as I’m dealing with a few students who cannot seem to learn from their mistakes.

A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding

    than a hundred blows into a fool. (Proverbs 17:10)

If you have always learned life lessons fairly easily, if you never had to touch the stove or the wet paint, be very grateful for that grace in your life! Because, unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have to learn things the hard way. And for some, no amount of discipline seems to penetrate! Jon Courson uses the example of David, who, when confronted by Nathan over his affair with Bathsheba that ended in the murder of Uriah, immediately broke down and wept and repented! Courson compared David to Pharaoh, who, in spite of numerous plagues, stubbornly refused to repent and turn to God.

I have been scratching my head lately over some students who seem to enjoy beating their heads against the wall. Neither negative consequences nor positive reinforcement seem to work to help these kids figure out how much easier their lives would be if they just made the good choices! Some of you may have a teen or young adult in your family who continues to make bad choices, that not only affect their lives, but throw the whole family into turmoil.

For some, however, they honestly CAN’T make the good choices. There are a lot of students these days who are suffering from attention deficit. This is NOT some made-up, over-diagnosed label freely given by teachers to describe normal rowdy, impulsive behaviors. This is a physical, bio-chemical disorder that needs treatment as much as diabetes. This is a painful thing to watch as a teacher. These poor students cannot organize themselves to save their souls. They cannot focus beyond 30 seconds. And they frequently have parents who are in complete denial! They are constantly “in trouble” at home and at school, and probably on the field in sports, because they just can’t control themselves. As I listen to parents sternly telling the child that they just need to try harder, I want to scream, “He CAN’T!!!”

By the time these students are in the upper grades, this problem has spilled over into every aspect of their lives. It impedes not only academic growth, but more importantly it becomes a huge social issue, as no one wants to sit near or hang out with these kids. They stick out like a sore thumb within a classroom setting. There has been so much research published just within the past couple of months that shows that, left untreated, the problems of attention deficit continue to put these kids at risk for all kinds of negative behaviors, even into adulthood. They have a 30% increased risk of incarceration, drug use, divorce, etc. Can you tell this is a push-button issue for me???

So when our verse calls one a fool who doesn’t respond to discipline, I can agree that there are many who just refuse to learn, but there are also those who truly need our prayers because they can’t learn! With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. He promises that He can change the heart of stone. May he work in the lives of those we love who continue to bang their heads against the wall!!!    And may He grant us an abundance of patience,compassion, and wisdom as we lovingly try to help them!

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